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Understanding Redirect Types

What is a redirect?

In its simplest form, a redirect is a way to take the user from one web-page to another. There are different Types of redirects, and each type can have different SEO implications.

  • 301 Permanent – A 301 or Permanent redirect. If you're planning on not adding the “nofollow” attribute to your shortened Pretty Links then this is the one you'll want to use. 301 redirect type, is the only type of redirect that is known to pass along Link Juice. If your confident that the target URL will never change, then use 301 type redirects.
  • 307 Temporary – A 307 or Temporary redirect. 307 tells search engines that this redirect may change in the future, so don't pass along any Link Juice. You should only use 307 type redirects if you think the Target URL may change at some point. On Pretty Links that use 307 type redirects you should enable the “nofollow” attribute to prevent search engines from indexing your links and hurting your ranking.
  • 302 Temporary – A 302 is another form of temporary redirect, like 307. The main difference is that the HTTP can change, whereas with a 307 it should stay the same. 302 is also slightly better for SEO but it is less predictable on how the search engines will treat it.
  • * Cloak – Cloaking is against most Merchant's TOS (Terms of Service) so you should check with them before cloaking your affiliate links. Known merchants who do not allow Cloaking are Google, Bing/Yahoo, Amazon, and ClickBank. Cloaking works by hiding the Target URL of the Pretty Links from the user's address bar, all they see instead is your Pretty Links. This is accomplished by loading the Target URL in a full-screen iframe inside the browser window.
  • Pixel – Pixel redirect type, isn't really a redirect type at all. It is used for hidden tracking. Let's say you want to send out an advertising email to a list of subscribers, and you want to know how many times that email gets viewed. Well with a Pretty Links tracking Pixel you would paste the following HTML in the email:<img src=”http://YOURSITE.COM/slug” width=”1″ height=”1″ />This will hide an invisible image in the email body which will track a hit on your pretty link each time the email is viewed. The user will never see, or know the tracking pixel was there, but you will get the benefit of knowing how successful your email marketing is going.This doesn't have to be limited to just email marketing. You can paste a tracking pixel anywhere on a page, post, or even in a Forum that supports HTML input. It's a great way to secretly track visits to a page. Another great use is for embedding pixels on a “Goal” page for conversion tracking.
  • * Javascript / Meta-Refresh – These two types of redirection essentially do the same thing. They allow you to specify a time delay before actually performing the redirection. These two types of redirects are also very good to use if you want to integrate Google Analytics tracking on the links. Some users disable Javascript in their browsers, so if you're worried about that, you can use Meta-Refresh instead. If you use these types of redirection, it is recommended that you use the “nofollow” attribute to help prevent search engines from indexing these links.

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